1612 An age bigger than adolescence

When We Are Broken: The Lake Elegy by Luanne Armstrong New Denver: Maa Press, 2020 $30.00 / 9780987838414 Reviewed by Diana Hayes * Luanne Armstrong, a prolific writer who has published twenty-five books of fiction, memoir, and poetry, has crafted a soulful and meditative narrative in her book, When We Are Broken – The Lake…
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1611 A life with crime

Thirty-Three Years: The Unfiltered Memoir of a Cop by Rob G. Rothwell Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $24.49  /  9781039123427 Reviewed by Jaime Smith * There is no crime without laws. An inborn human drive to compete against others promotes individual greed, usually suppressed or diverted by shared ethical standards. Some always will ignore the law, resulting…
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1610 A star map to higher ground

Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2021 $32.00 / 9781553799351 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * When my friend, author, singer and educator Karen Lee White went north to celebrate the life of a beloved elder, the family women braided her long silver hair. “That is your…
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1609 Nuu-chah-nulth high bow canoes

Making a Chaputs: The Teachings and Responsibilities of a Canoe Maker by Joe Martin and Alan Hoover Victoria: Royal BC Museum Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9780772680273 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * With a Pacific coastline that stretches 25,725 km (15,985 miles), British Columbia has for eons relied on water transport and for centuries First Nations’…
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1608 The vernacular of the country

All the Bears Sing: Stories by Harold Macy Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $24.95 / 9781990776007 Reviewed by W.H. New * Readers who enjoy tales of living and working in the BC woods and in small Coastal communities will find much to appreciate in Harold Macy’s collection of 23 tales and stories. Macy writes out…
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1607 A year in a life

Confessions with Keith: Extracts from the Journals of Vita Glass by Pauline Holdstock Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $22.95 / 9781771964975 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Vita Glass, the character at the centre of Pauline Holdstock’s latest novel, lives in an extreme amount of chaos. It’s no wonder as she has four children, a dog, a cat,…
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1606 Peace River portraits

A Century in the North Peace: The Life and Times of Anne and John Callison by Erín Moure, with Anne Callison Montreal and Vancouver: Zat-So Productions, 2018 $22.79 / 9780986759529 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Poet and translator Erin Moure with her 96-year-old aunt Anne Callison in 2018 wrote a remarkable, lovingly composed, and detailed…
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1605 Fringe sports & epic fights

Five Moves of Doom by A.J. Devlin Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $22.95 / 9781774390559 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * In the professional wresting world, the words “five moves of doom” can cause a tidal wave of excitement. It’s a series of signature moves unique to each wrestler that, often, dictates how the match will go…
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1604 Plain talk at Tyee Lagoon

The Liquor Vicar: (The Mildly Catastrophic Misadventures of Tony Vicar, Book 1) by Vince R. Ditrich Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2021 $18.99 / 9781459747258 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Vince R. Ditrich’s Liquor Vicar is a great big shambling bear hug and sloppy, bearded kiss of a novel. It is a novel jam-packed with irascible and…
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1603 Writing to shape one’s future

Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2022 $19.95 / 9781772013795 Reviewed by Cathy Ford * If, when you begin reading, and then rereading, a book by this author, soon after the second anniversary of National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, perhaps you should know already your life will change….
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1602 Tabouli, hummus, couscous

Arab Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook Tales by Karim Alrawi, illustrations by Nahid Kazemi, recipes by Sobhi al-Zobaidi and Tamam Qanembou-Zobaidi, and Karim Alrawi; art direction by Carol Frank, book design by Elisa Gutiérrez Vancouver and London: Tradewind Books, 2021 $29.95 / 9781926890272 Reviewed by Harvey De Roo. Recipes tested by Harvey De Roo…
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1601 Timely monstrosities

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli (editors) Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $21.95 /  9781551529011 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Everybody is afraid of something. David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli’s Queer Little Nightmares: An Antholgy of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry offers a chilling seasonal collection…
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1600 Parents, lock the door

Don’t Call It A Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking), 2021 $24.95  /  9780735237896 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Be Afraid for Your Daughters: Parents lock the door, if you can, on predators bearing false promise of enlightenment What do…
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1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
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1598 All together now

Namwayut: We Are All One. A Pathway to Reconciliation by Chief Robert Joseph Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2022 $29.95  /  9781774580059 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * At last, the building, its outline terrorizing The Bay or Yalis, the community framed by open legs, both sides of the water which feeds the people, has come down….
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1597 Get lost, young man

Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas by Harley Rustad Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada), 2022 $34.00 / 9780735279469 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * For some readers, stories like this one are a tempting invitation to satire. There is, after all, much fodder for lampoonery…
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1596 A many-coloured coat

Two Pieces of Cloth: One Family’s Story of the Holocaust by Joe Gold Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $21.95 / 9781989603826 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The vast literature of the Holocaust occupies various and distinct chambers in our latter-day imagination. First there are the historical documents which recorded or later reconstructed the names and…
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1595 Beware of Ketopram

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2022 $24.99 / 9781982191399 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you enjoy gripping, psychological thrillers, Daniel Kalla’s book The Darkness in The Light will hold your attention to the very end. The story takes place in Anchorage, Alaska, and in the remote…
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1594 The celebrated camera obscura

Art, Research, Play: The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Project by Donald Lawrence, Josephine Mills, and Emily Dundas Oke (editors), foreword by W.F. (Will) Garrett-Petts Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2021 $39.95 / 9781927770115 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve  * “This is a book that arrests attention but won’t stand still.” Thanks to W.F. Garrett-Petts for this assertion…
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1593 Practice makes pretext

Subject to Change: Writings and Interviews by Liz Magor, with an introduction by Phillip Monk Montreal: Concordia University Press, 2022 $59.95 / 9781988111339 Reviewed by Michael Turner * As a writer of art criticism I have come to appreciate the writings of visual artists. Not just those who use text in their work, but who…
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